The 57 member countries of the the Islamic Development Bank account for 40 percent of the world’s poor. Islamic finance emphasizes risk-sharing, connection to real economic activities, and inclusiveness.
Thus, it would seem to be a short step to turn Islamic-managed assets, set to grow from $2 trillion to $3.2 trillion by 2020, toward financing for the UN global goals.
Earlier this year, the World Bank flagged the potential of Islamic finance for the SDGs. Now comes the Islamic Development Bank, along with the United Nations Development Program, to lay out recommendations and launch a new investing platform.
Among the recommendations: Back Islamic impact investing funds and intermediaries. Align standards for impact measurement with the broader impact investing community. Build networks of public and private actors to share ideas and challenges.
Islamic finance is on the agenda of the second Global Ethical Finance Forum in Edinburgh in September.